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Clubs & Societies Standard Constitution Preamble 1) This Standard Constitution is the minimum required standard of the Clubs & Societies Committee. All provisions of the Standard Constitution must be included in the constitutions of individual clubs. 2) Clauses 1b, 1c, 3a (General Interest only; Faculty/Departmental clubs may amend to limit membership to the named faculty or department), 5c, 17, 18, 19 and 20 must be included without amendment. The Clubs & Societies Officer(s) may permit amendments to clauses 3b to 7, 8 (amendments may ONLY be made to: the date of the AGM (which may be set earlier in the year only), the reports to be tabled (the minimum is: General Interest – President and Treasurer; Faculty – President, Treasurer and Education Officer), and the electoral provisions), 9 to 16 (inclusive) of this standard constitution provided these amendments do not contravene the Clubs & Societies Regulations on required provisions of club constitutions. 3) A club may make extra provisions for its constitution provided it does not conflict with the Clubs & Societies Regulations or the Constitution of UMSU. Standard Constitution 1. a) The name of the club shall be The University of Melbourne Secular Society. b) This club is affiliated to UMSU Inc (UMSU) and anything in this constitution that conflicts with the constitution of UMSU or with the Clubs & Societies Regulations shall be null and void. In all matters not specifically dealt with herein, the Constitution of UMSU and the Clubs & Societies Regulations shall apply. c) During the course of affiliation with UMSU this club shall comply with any requirements of the Clubs & Societies Committee of UMSU for the provision of records and documents and shall be under a duty to apply any grant monies received from the Clubs & Societies Committee in accordance with any conditions imposed by such body. 2. The aims of the club are: (a) to encourage freedom from superstition, irrationalism, and dogma. (b) to further the acceptance and application of science, reason, and critical thinking on campus and in the wider community. (c) to challenge misrepresentations and promote acceptance of non-religious lifestyles. (d) to promote debate surrounding ideas of religion, science, philosophy, politics and ethics. (e) to create a campus community for freethinkers and skeptics. (f) to cultivate in ourselves — and others — a sense of responsibility to, and compassion for, humanity. (g) to counter all forms of religious political extremism. (h) to defend religious freedom and the separation of church and state. (i) to defend individual freedoms and civil liberties for all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender, class, creed, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. (j) to unite freethinkers, skeptics, atheists, agnostics and humanists in the pursuit of these common goals. 3. a) Membership shall be open to all students of the University of Melbourne; b) Associate membership shall be open to any other persons who subscribe to the aims of the club. 4. A person shall be considered a member having: a) Paid a membership fee exacted at the committee’s direction; and b) Completed a membership form as prepared by the committee. 5. The committee shall have the following members: a) An executive consisting of: i) the President, who shall be a Melbourne University student; ii) the Secretary, who shall be a Melbourne University student; iii) the Treasurer, who shall be a Melbourne University student; b) Non-executive members consisting of five general representatives. c) At least 2 members of the executive must be members of UMSU. [Note: previously three general representatives] 6. The committee shall have the following powers: a) Control over the finances of the club; b) Control over the activities of the club. 7. The committee is at all times bound by the decisions of a club general meeting. Any committee decision may be overturned by a club general meeting. 8. There shall be one Annual General Meeting every calendar year, which shall be held during the academic period, but no later than the end of September. At this meeting: a) Written reports shall be presented by the President and Treasurer and any other pertinent persons; b) Ratification of the club’s constitution; c) Full financial report will be presented and adopted for the financial period from AGM to AGM; d) Elections will be held for a new committee, to take charge of the club from the close of the meeting; e) Other moved motions may be discussed and voted upon, with preference going to motions of which notice was given before the meeting; f) The club shall submit all the AGM documents to the C&S Administrator within two weeks of the AGM. 9. There shall be such general meetings as the committee sees fit, or as are petitioned. The procedure of such meeting will be as for the Annual General Meeting, except committee elections will not be held unless specifically notified. 10. If fifteen members, or one third of the membership, whichever is the smaller, should petition the committee for a general meeting, such meeting must be held within fifteen academic days, at a date to be set by the committee. 11. The quorum shall be: a) At a General Meeting or Annual General Meeting, a minimum of twenty members whom are not committee members. b) At a committee meeting, three committee members, at least one of whom must be a member of the executive. 12. a) The committee shall be required to give at least five academic days notice of a General Meeting (GM), Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Special General Meeting (SGM). Such notice must be email notification and given to both the Clubs and Societies Administrator and club members. b) A committee meeting may be called by any executive member of the committee, subject to such limitations on spending as the committee may from time to time set. c) All club members must be notified of all committee meetings at least 5 days in advance. d) All club members have the right to attend committee meetings in order to discuss any issues or ideas they believe are relevant to the club’s interests. 13. a) Voting in all meetings shall be democratic, with a simple majority sufficing for the passage of a motion. All tied motions are lost. No proxy voting shall be permitted. b) Constitutional changes require a simple majority of members voting at a Special General Meeting or Annual General Meeting, and take effect from the end of the meeting. These constitutional motions must be presented in writing to the committee at least five academic days before the meeting, and notice of these shall be given to the membership. Constitutional changes shall be approved by the UMSU Clubs & Societies Office Bearer(s) before they are presented to a general meeting. 14. Any committee member absent from two consecutive committee meetings without due cause or previous apology may, at the committee’s discretion, be deemed to resign from her/his position by a motion of the committee, and a general meeting must be called to elect a successor. 15. If it is deemed that a committee member should be stood down, by a motion of the committee, or a petition bearing the names of at least fifteen members, impeachment proceedings will take place against the nominated committee member. At the next general meeting or Annual General Meeting, a motion shall be put to impeach the committee member, provided that at least five academic days notice has been given to the membership and to the member concerned in writing. If this passed by a two thirds majority, that committee position will become vacant and a new election held immediately. The committee member to be impeached will be given at least five minutes to speak before the vote is taken. 16. If deemed by a motion of the committee, or a petition bearing the names of at least fifteen members, any member of the club can be expelled. The procedure is the same as for impeachment except that the result is the voiding of the person’s membership. No member may be expelled on the ground of race, sex, gender or religion; political, moral or sexual views. 17. A motion to wind up the club must be written and notice of the motion is to be given in the agenda for the general meeting at which the winding up motion is to be decided. A winding up motion must be carried by an absolute majority. 18. In the event that the club is wound up, or ceases to be affiliated to UMSU the control of assets which have been 50% or more funded by UMSU Clubs & Societies Committee grants and which are less than 3 years old will revert to UMSU and be held in trust by UMSU Clubs & Societies Committee until such time that a club with the same aims is affiliated or a period of 18 months lapses. 19. In the event that the club has not been able to organise a quorate meeting within the 12 month period, the UMSU Clubs & Societies Committee may wind up the club by passing a motion to do so under the rules of UMSU. Any member of the club who wished to oppose the winding up of the club should make submissions to the committee. The decision of the committee is final subject only to appeal under UMSU rules. 20. For all purpose herein, an academic day will be considered as a day in the academic calendar of the University of Melbourne. 21. Disposal and Income and Profits a.) The profits (if any) or other income and property of the club must be applied solely towards the promotion of the aims of the club as set out in this Constitution and no portion of it may be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, to any member of the club whether by way of dividend, bonus or other profits. This does not prevent any payment in good faith by the club for the payment or reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a member of the club on behalf of the club. b.) If the club is wound up, any money remaining after the payment of all debts, liabilities and expenses must not be paid or distributed to the members but must be transferred to the C&S Committee of UMSU. 22. There shall be an advisory board made up of University staff and professors, as well as personalities in the wider Melbourne community, who share our aims to promote reason and secular values on campus. The advisory board shall meet with the committee annually in the hope that they will be able to share ideas, advice, and networking opportunities to help the club grow and prosper. er.
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